Federal Lawsuit Against Omaha Police Dropped the Day Before Trial Set to Start

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Deandre Crittenden

On December 19, 2017, a federal trial involving Omaha police as a defendant was set to start. However, the plaintiff, Deandre Crittenden, decided that he no longer wanted to pursue the lawsuit the night before the trial. According to Crittenden’s attorney, William Harris, he simply wants to move on with his life.

Crittenden Shot 7 Times by Omaha Police

The federal lawsuit filed by Crittenden alleged that he was shot seven times and was subjected to excessive force by Omaha police on November 21, 2013. Crittenden alleged that he attempted to surrender despite not receiving the command to do so by Officer Paul Hasiak. Officer Hasiak shot Crittenden 7 times because he believed that Crittenden had kneeled down to retrieve a gun.

Omaha police stated that the shooting was justified because they believed that Crittenden had crouched down to retrieve a firearm. While Crittenden admitted to the presence of the gun, he alleged that he crouched down because he was tired from the chase.

Crittenden was ultimately convicted of terroristic threats, use of a deadly weapon to commit a felony, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. The City of Omaha paid over $100,000 to cover Crittenden’s medical expenses as a result of the shooting.

Officer Paul Hasiak, at the time of the shooting, had served as a police officer for 8 ½ years. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer released a statement after the shooting in which he supported Officer Hasiak’s decision to fire his weapon: “Officer Hasiak feared for his safety and discharged his firearm in defense of himself.”

Crittenden’s Lawsuit Was Dismissed with Prejudice

Although it was Crittenden’s decision to drop the lawsuit the day before it was set to go to trial, it’s important to note that U.S. Chief Judge Laurie Smith Camp dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice. This means that Crittenden will not be able to re-file his lawsuit.

Michelle Peters, an attorney representing the City of Omaha and Officer Hasiak, stated that she believed Officer Hasiak’s actions were justified and believes that a jury would have sided with the City.